quote for today

here's a poem I love by John F. Dean and read many years ago by Bono. "Driving to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve" Five-thousand million years ago, this earth lay heaving in a mass of rocks and fire Wasting, burdened with its emptiness Tonight, when arthropods and worms and sponges have given way to dinosaurs And dinosaurs to working, wandering apes Homo erectus have given way to Sapiens, and he to Homo sapiens sapiens (alias Paddy Mack) Look down on Dublin from the hills around And lights could be a million Christmas trees Still firs standing, while in the sky a glow as if of dawn This day a light shall shine on us The Lord is born within our city Look along to the river toward O'Connell Bridge The lights, the neon signs, all stream on water like breathed-on strips of tinsel All is still... Eleven-thirty, pubs begin to empty Men stop to argue, sway and say the name of Jesus For those who have known darkness Who have now seen a wonderous light Those who have dwelt on unlit streets To them the light has come Tonight, few cars go by The blocks of flats with windowed-plastic trees And fairy lights stand, watching for a miracle Here are no dells where fairies might appear Out from the dark an ambulance comes speeding Sickly blue lights search in siren-still The mystery of the night ticks slowly on It will pass and leave memories of friends and small, half-welcomed things In Him was life In Him, life was the light of man For neither prehistoric swans nor trilobites, the mesozoic birds Neanderthal, nor modern man had ever dreamt or seen what was our God The shops are gay with lights and bright things All save funeral homes, they dare not advertise their presence As midnight peels and organs start to play Two cars meet headlong in a haze of drink The crash flicks into silence Pain crawls like a slime through blood and into limbs God is revealed, a baby naked, crying in a crib In the church porches and out along the grounds Teenagers laugh and swear, smokin', watchin' girls So, once more, Christmas trails away Its meaning moves back into the mist and the march of time written by: John F. Dean When played: Bono recites this poem on radio around December 31, 1983.


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